Kate Allen CEO Update on vaccinations
With the announcement of a roadmap for moving out of lockdown, most people are feeling a little better about the year ahead. We are also thankful to hear that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has approved for people with a learning disability to be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccination. Studies have shown that people with learning disabilities are 6 times more likely to die if they contract Covid-19, therefore this really is a lifesaving decision. Our understanding is that the GP learning disability register will be the trigger for people being invited for a vaccination. We are mindful that some autistic people we support may not be on that register as they don’t have a learning disability. Where that is the case and those individuals are not invited for a vaccination, we will support them to approach their GP.
To date over a quarter of Autism at Kingwood employees have received the vaccination and we are encouraging others who are still feeling anxious. There are no current Covid cases amongst people we support or staff, although one employee remains recovering well in hospital.
This week I am taking steps to finalise the charity’s budget for the coming financial year, which runs from April 2021. It is a cautious one, but it is predicting a small surplus, which is reassuring as so many other charities are struggling to survive. Our approach of not relying of fundraising and donations has been a sensible one and ensures that any donation received, regardless of size, can go on things that really benefit people we support. Once the budget receives Board approval in March I will share details.